19 May 2017

Schools urged to 'show sensitivity' to Muslim pupils by moving GCSE and A-Level revision classes and rescheduling sports days for Ramadan

Schools are being urged to move revision classes and consider rescheduling sports days to accommodate the needs of Muslim pupils fasting for Ramadan, MailOnline can reveal.

A new report also suggests that schools should also 'show sensitivity' when organising graduation celebrations and change PE lesson plans to make sure that activities are 'less strenuous'.

Ramadan falls at the end of May this year and will last for approximately one month meaning it will clash with GCSE and A Level exams across the country.

During the period Muslims who have reached 'maturity' are required to go without food or drink - including water - during sunlight hours.

It means that thousands of pupils could face sitting exams with empty stomachs in warm exam rooms at the height of summer when Britain gets an average of 16 hours of daylight.

The pamphlet has been published by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), which represents more than 18,000 head teachers and college leaders.

It recommends teenagers should not stay up late praying during this summer's exam period because 'extra devotions in Ramadan are voluntary' and performing well at school is 'obligatory'. [1164 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 10788 votes] So the UK are bowing down to other religions.... In doing so losing its own culture... Makes sense all the kids who have been studying their whole epidemic careers put on hold because a minority have to fast to stay pure to Islam...... Joke

[2ND 8598] They are not forced to do anything, they give up food and drink in daylight hours voluntarily, its their choice

[3RD 8114] This is England isn't it time to put a stop, to all this nonsense.

[4TH 7975] No No not right if they want to live in our country abide by our rules

[5TH 6599] When Ramadan falls is not our problem. The UK is a Christian country.

[6TH 6219] If these parents place their religion over their children's immediate wellbeing and future prospects then they need to have a wobble of their heads.

[7TH 5297] If they need special allowances for revision and exams they're going to be no use to a future employer. Time to show them the door. [Daily Mail] Read more

Germany: Should Migrants Integrate?

.... After five months of deliberation, the task force on May 16 presented a list of what it considers to be the top 15 guiding principles of German culture. Encapsulated in the catchphrase "Cohesion in Diversity," the list consists of mostly generic ideas about German culture — gender equality, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, pluralism and democracy — that are not at all unique to Germany.

Moreover, the list makes no mention of German culture as being the guiding or core culture (Leitkultur), nor does the task force explicitly demand that migrants assimilate to the German way of life. Rather, the guiding principles appear to be aimed at encouraging Germans to embrace the foreign cultural norms that migrants bring to Germany. The task force's focus seems to have shifted from integration and assimilation to coexistence, tolerance and to the Germans adopting the migrant's core culture.

The preamble states:

"Integration affects all people in Germany. Social cohesion can neither be prescribed, nor is it alone a task of politics.... Solidarity is one of the basic principles of our coexistence. It shows itself in our understanding of each other and in the attention to the needs of others — we stand for a solidarity society....

"Immigration changes a society and requires openness, respect and tolerance on all sides.... The stirring up of fears and hostilities is not the right way — we stand for a cosmopolitan society....

"The European integration process is not only a guarantee for peace in Europe and an important basis for prosperity and employment, it also stands for cultural convergence as well as for common European values — we want a united Europe."

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, a well-known supporter of the idea of a core culture (Leitkultur), expressed disappointment at the task force's refusal to be more specific about what constitutes Germanness. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

18 May 2017

American Islam's Most Extreme Conference

Speakers included Siraj Wahhaj, an imam who addresses Muslim events across the country every week, and is a former advisory board member of the Council on American Islamic Relations. Wahhaj has preached:

"I don't believe any of you are homosexual. This is a disease of this society. ... you know what the punishment is, if a man is found with another man? The Prophet Mohammad said the one who does it and the one to whom it is done to, kill them both."

Elsewhere, Wahhaj cites the death penalty for adultery, advocates chopping off the hands of thieves, and tells Muslims:

"Take not into your intimacy those outside of your race. They will not fail to corrupt you. Don't you know our children are surrounded by kafirs [disbelievers]. I'm telling you, making the hearts of our children corrupt, dirty, foul."

Other listed speakers included Abdul Nasir Jangda, who advocates sex-slavery and gives husbands permission to rape their wives; Suleiman Hani, who claims that "Freedom of speech is a facade" used to stifle "objective discussion" of the "Holocaust and Jews"; Mohammad Elshinawy, who claims that women who fail to wear the hijab will contract breast cancer; and Yasir Qadhi, whose violent homophobia was recently the subject of an investigative report by The Times. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Muslims urged to use their votes in the general election

Imams around the country have been asked to use their sermons to urge British Muslims to vote in the election, thereby helping young people to avoid the lure of “deviant ideologies” through a sense of investment in civil life.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), an umbrella group with 500 affiliated mosques and Islamic bodies, has released a list of key issues affecting Muslims before the election. It has also circulated a suggested sermon for imams to deliver during Friday prayers that declares: “Muslims need to be more politically active.”

IpsosMORI research suggests that 53 per cent of eligible Muslims did not vote at the 2010 general election. [The Times (£)] Read more

Lawsuit over Islam comments tests boundaries between controversial language and free speech

A lawsuit filed against a Greek author and historian under Greece’s anti-racism legislation over claims she defamed Islam and incited violence via a comment in one of her articles is testing the boundaries between free speech and what could be considered offensive language.

Soti Triantafyllou is set to appear in court on July 21 on charges of using racist language in an article that included a quote, which she attributed to 13th-century Venetian traveler Marco Polo, that said, “The militant Muslim is the person who beheads the infidel, while the moderate Muslim holds the feet of the victim.”

The lawsuit, under Law 4285/2014, was brought by veteran human rights activist Panayote Dimitras, who heads the Greek Helsinki Monitor watchdog group and is in charge of the Racist Crimes Watch blog. In his suit, Dimitras claims that Triantafyllou could have confirmed, just by searching on the internet, that the quote is fake and was never uttered by Polo. [Kathimerini English Edition] Read more

Amsterdam police force considers allowing Muslim headscarves: AD

Police chiefs in Amsterdam are considering allowing female Muslim officers to wear headscarves, the AD said on Thursday. Currently police officers are not allowed to wear any religious symbols but officials are considering lifting the ban in an effort to improve diversity.

‘We are talking about it,’ the city’s most senior officer Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg told the paper. ‘If we cannot recruit sufficient officers with a migrant background, this is a measure which could have an impact.’ Aalbersberg says half of the city’s police force should have an ethnic minority background to better reflect the city’s population.

Currently some 52% of the city’s residents have ‘non-Dutch’ roots, compared with 18% of police officers. ‘The make-up of Amsterdam is changing,’ he said. ‘I think this is a subject for debate, and that should involve the man in the street as well.’ [DutchNews] Read more

The British broadcaster brave enough to discuss Islamic violence

.... Sadly, part of the reception of that programme, and numerous events in the years since have kept such displays of scholarly truthfulness nearly as much of a rarity since as they were before. Which is one reason why Tom Holland deserves even more praise for returning to the subject of his earlier documentary.

And not just returning to it, but – in ‘Isis: The Origins of Violence’ – returning to the hardest part of that subject. In a nutshell he posed the question ‘Why do Isis, and groups like Isis, do what they do?’

And he answers this with the only honest answer anybody interested in truth could possibly come back with – which is that although they may be inspired by many things, their most important inspiration is a version of Islam whose roots can be traced to the origins of the religion, its foundational texts and the behaviour of Mohammed. [The Spectator] Read more

Unmarried Mali couple stoned to death for violating 'Islamic law

An unmarried couple were stoned to death in public in northeast Mali by "Islamists", local officials revealed, the first such incident since jihadist groups were driven out of the region.

Jihadists seized key northern cities in March 2012, and though they were driven out by a French-led military intervention in 2013, Islamist groups continue to make their presence felt with frequent attacks on domestic and foreign forces.

"The Islamists dug two holes where they put the man and the woman who lived maritally without being married," said a local official. "They were stoned to death."

The stoning happened in Taghlit on Tuesday, close to Aguelhok in the Kidal region, and the same source told AFP that members of the public were invited to take part.

"Four people threw stones at them until they died," they said.

Another local official said the Islamists had accused the unmarried couple of violating "Islamic law", which requires punishment by stoning. [The Telegraph] Read more

17 May 2017

Isis: The Origins of Violence – a brave documentary that will start many a fight

.... While visiting sites of Isis atrocities that have not yet been made safe, he was required to address the philosophical question of whether Islamic doctrine contains a strain of thought that can be used to justify extreme violence and even genocide.

Although Holland rightly emphasised that the “vast majority of Muslims” find the deeds and reasoning of Isis abhorrent – and acknowledged that the west has its own history of bloodily targeting foreign lands in the name of God – this remained a courageous film exploring questions left unspoken in large parts of the media through a combination of liberalism and fear. Many articles have explained the origins of jihad and the Islamic State dream of a global caliphate, as Holland does, but he heads from there into rare depths.

.... Qutb’s rhetoric calling for a fundamentalist enforcement of Islamic laws as a bulwark against western decadence inspired first al-Qaida and then Isis, which – in the closest this topic has to a joke – was formed by terrorists expelled from al-Qaida for having views thought too brutal.

.... While touching on the reasons cited for the French capital’s regularity as a target – reputation for decadence, large and disadvantaged immigrant population – the film also has a deeper thesis: that the Isis obsession with the French is simultaneously a revenge for and a homage to Napoleon. His seizure of Egypt and westernisation of Islamic culture, argues Holland, created long grudges but also gave some extremist Muslims a model of conquest and conversion that has been turned back on Napoleon’s successors at the Bataclan, Charlie Hebdo, the Stade de France and the Champs-Élysées. [83 comments. Closed for comments early]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 103 votes] I did a project once on Central Asia history (extending to northern Indian subcontinent and Western China) and started reading Muslim writers on how see they see things themselves in those periods (mainly 10 to 16th century). I wasn't interested in Islam itself, but still it is very noticeable how much they wrote about attacking infidels and took great pride in it.

Violence in the cause of Islam has a long history. The problem has been that many people is the West have been too busy trying to make excuses for Islam and its violent history (you know, Islam means peace or "etymologically related" to peace stuff), and it becomes almost disturbing how inventive they can be trying to sidestep the issue of Islamic violence. If people are ignorant of what have been done in the name of Islam, blame those writers and people in the academia.

[2ND 92] Do islamists regularly attack Paris because of its

"reputation for decadence, large and disadvantaged immigrant population [or because] the Isis obsession with the French is simultaneously a revenge for and a homage to Napoleon"?

I'd suggest it's because Paris is a symbol, to many people, or European civilisation. No wonder the death-cultists hate it.

[3RD 91] "Tom Holland is brilliant, he kicks quite hard against the 'liberal' consensus on Islam."

And what is that consensus?

In a nutshell, it's that no true Muslim would recognise violent jihad as part of their faith, and that the advent of violent jihad as a core tenet of Islam stems from Western aggression against the Muslim world.

This is why pretty well everybody knows about the crusades, but barely anybody knows about the Battle of Tours. The idea that Muslims attacked (and occupied) Western Europe centuries before the first crusade kicked off in 1099 does not fit with the narrative.

[4TH 68] Tom Holland is a brave man, you'd have to be brave to willingly travel to the middle east after skewering the traditional narrative of Muhammad's life and the foundation of Islam, as Holland undertook to do in his 2012 book. [The Guardian] Read more

'What next, curtains around Bondi Beach?' Mark Latham slams Sydney council for putting screens around a public pool for Muslim women to swim in private without having to wear 'burkinis'

Media personality Mark Latham says putting up curtains at a Sydney public swimming pool to cater for Muslim women is a step towards putting drapes around section of Bondi Beach - as an Islamic sheikh likened it to imposing sharia law in Australia's suburbs.

The council-run Auburn Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre in the city's west has installed a retractable curtain around one of its three pools so women can swim privately during two set time slots on Wednesdays, infuriating many residents who said it was like 'segregation'.

The organiser of the swim group, Yusra Metwally, said the idea behind the sessions was to 'accommodate people who wouldn't otherwise swim at a beach, or swim in a swimming pool because they don't feel comfortable'.

However Mr Latham, a former federal Labor leader, said it set an awful precedent and undermined Australia's egalitarian values about people from all different backgrounds mixing together.

'Where does it end? What's the next step? Down at Bondi Beach, we're going to have some curtained-off area, or something, it's just ridiculous,' he told Daily Mail Australia on Wednesday.

While Mr Latham supported the right of Muslim women to swim in a burkini, he said councils were bowing to left-wing demands to protect minority groups instead of encouraging individuals to come to terms with their modesty issues.

'It's not going to be very helpful for Islamic integration into the broader Australian community,' he said.

.... There are even critics within the Muslim community, with Adelaide Shia imam Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi likening the swimming pool policy to sharia law.

'It is part of sharia law that a strange man must not see the body of another woman, therefore they are installing the curtains,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

Sheikh Tawhidi said religious Muslims should build 'Muslim-only swimming pools for themselves' rather than have their laws imposed on non-Muslims.

'Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre is not an Islamic swimming pool, therefore they should not be accepting of such an idea in the first place,' he said.

'The Muslim community can afford a private swimming pool for themselves that observes their sharia laws.'

[TOP RATED COMMENT 819 votes] This is so wrong...it's your choice to come live in Australia and should live by the moral and laws in Australia why bother leaving your country if you refuse to live by another country social values?

[2ND 574] This is not correct. Inflicting this type of nonsense because of a minuscule minority is ridiculous.

[3RD 537] How totally r i d i c u l o u s.

[4TH 444] Ridiculous! It's not like they are even paying council fees for the screens!

[5TH 367] Muslim women want to swim in private - in a PUBLIC pool? If they want a private pool to swim in they should pay for one to be built in their backyards.

[6TH 311] If it was a pool built for and by muslims and maintained by religious money then I can't see an issue. If however it is public baths paid for by taxpayers then this is not acceptable. We should not be promoting seperatism and divides

[7TH 248] This does not represent the Australian values of equality. It is sexist to only have female lifeguards on duty and is not in the best interest of these women as it does not encourage socializing with other members of society. As a child I loved swimming with both my parents. Mum would feel nice to snuggle with and dad was fantastic to play with. Why are we allowing this segregation? [Daily Mail] Read more

Swimming coach slams segregated privacy curtain at community pool

Privacy curtains to allow female Muslims to swim without worrying about men watching are causing controversy for a western Sydney council.

The privacy curtains have been installed at Belgravia Leisure, a council-run facility in Auburn.

The curtain runs around a glass wall which is drawn when female-only swimming sessions are held for two hours every Sunday and at other times during the week.

.... The push for inclusiveness has been applauded by Silma Ihram, head of the Australian Muslim Woman's Association.

"Good on the council for understanding there is a number of people who can't swim because of their religious background," she said.

.... But legendary swimming coach Dick Caine, who has trained numerous Olympic swimmers, believes the push for inclusiveness is actually causing division.

"It is dividing Australia, it is dividing families," Caine said.

"The thing of this segregation, the thing of making them separate, it's making them that they are different. That people think they are either better than us or that there's something strange about them or that the males are standing over them." [Nine] Read more

Historian Tom Holland on Isis, receiving death threats and why there is a 'civil war' in the Muslim world

.... But talking about Isis, he’s sombre. He feels the terrorist organisation has “raised the ghosts of the past”. “Isis may be notoriously adept at the arts of modernity — social media and suicide vests — but their behaviour is redolent of ancient civilisations: enslaving and crucifying people, exactly as the Romans and Arabs did in the heyday of their imperialism.”

Holland knows the documentary will be controversial. He argues that Isis “self-consciously draws on Islamic scriptures, texts and episodes from Mohammed’s life to justify what they’re doing”.

So how Islamic is Islamic State? “Pretty Islamic, to the degree that they consider themselves to be Islamic,” he replies. “The mistake people make is to replicate Isis’s position, which is that there’s one, true form of Islam and anyone who deviates from that isn’t a Muslim. That’s Isis’s justification for killing Shia.

Ironically, when Western leaders say ‘it’s nothing to do with Islam’, they’re doing the same. I don’t think it’s the business — particularly of non-Muslims — to specify what a Muslim is. If people say they’re Muslim, they’re Muslim.” [Evening Standard] Read more

Muslim campaign groups publish key demands ahead of UK election

According to advocacy group MEND, the UK Muslim community could have a decisive impact on more than 80 seats at upcoming elections.

Muslim organisations in the UK this week launched their manifestos ahead of the 8 June general election in an attempt to lobby potential parliamentarians on the issues they believe matter most to Muslim communities across the country.

Addressing concerns over the rise of Islamophobia and counter-terrorism strategies, as well as calling for more engagement with a range of representatives from Muslim communities, were on top of the lists of demands made by the various advocacy groups.

In its manifesto published on Tuesday, the anti-Islamophobia advocacy group Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) called on the UK’s leading political parties to focus on “key areas of concern to Britain’s Muslim community” which include the rise of Islamophobic hate crime post-Brexit, anti-Muslim discrimination in the workplace and preserving access to halal meat and the freedom to wear religious dress.

“We’ve sent it [the document] out to all the political parties nationally and also locally we are approaching all the potential parliamentary candidates,” said Azad Ali, head of community development and engagement at MEND. [Middle East Eye] Read more

Mum watched as imam wed daughter, 14, to 34-year-old man: court

Footage of an alleged forced wedding ceremony between a 14-year-old girl and a man 20 years her senior held at a Melbourne mosque has been played in court.

Imam Ibrahim Omerdic appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday where he faces charges of conducting the forced marriage at a Bosnian mosque in September, 2016.

During the recording, as the bride's mother looked on, a male voice can be heard saying "she is very young". During the proceeding, Mr Omerdic says that the two should follow the example of the Koran.

"As a wife you have a duty to obey your husband," Mr Omerdic is heard saying in the video.

The footage, which was taken in Mr Omerdic's office at the Bosnia-Herzegovina Islamic Society in Noble Park, was played in court after it was seized by police from the groom's phone. [The Age] Read more

Austrian parliament passes burqa ban as part of new migrant law

The measure was backed by both of the ruling parties, the SPÖ and ÖVP, on Tuesday, in spite of political turbulence that has divided the governing coalition in recent days.

Starting in October, police will be charging fines from people who wear clothes that obstruct their facial features. The 150-euro ($166) fine would also apply to women wearing burqas and niqabs at universities, courts, or in public transport.

It was not immediately clear how many people would be affected by the ban.

Austrian mainstream parties have come under pressure from a rise in popularity for the far-right FPÖ faction, which criticized the law adopted on Tuesday by saying it did not go far enough.

Other measures in the legislation included setting up a 12-month integration school for migrants who are deemed to have good chances of staying in Austria. The schools would offer German courses, but also teach the asylum seekers about ethics and values considered customary in the country. Other skills, like applying for a job, would also be included. [Deutsche Welle] Read more

Austrian Parliament Bans Full Facial Veils in Public

Austria has banned wearing a full facial veil in public places, the latest move by a European country to restrict expressions of Muslim identity viewed as contrary to Western secular values. The decision immediately drew criticism from rights advocates and from representatives of Austria’s Muslim community.

Under the new legislation, approved by Parliament on Tuesday, women who wear clothing that covers their faces, such as burqas or niqabs, in places like universities, public transportation or courthouses will face fines of 150 euros, or about $167. The measure will take effect in October.

The ban is part of legislation aimed at improving the integration of immigrants, according to Muna Duzdar, a state secretary in the office of Chancellor Christian Kern. Other elements of the legislation include mandatory integration courses, German-language lessons and requirements that asylum seekers do unpaid work while awaiting the processing of their claims. Under the new law, migrants who do not meet the requirements could see their welfare benefits slashed. [The New York Times] Read more

'As a wife, you have a duty to obey your husband': Muslim cleric filmed performing a 'forced marriage' of girl, 14, to a man, 34, inside a Melbourne mosque

Shaky phone footage showing the wedding of a 34-year-old man and an underage child was shown in a Melbourne court.

Muslim cleric Ibrahim Omerdic, 61, is fighting claims he solemnised or intended to solemnise the pair's marriage, which was not subsequently formalised under Australian law.

Police seized footage from the husband's phone, in which Omerdic, who was an imam of the Bosnian Islamic Society and Noble Park Mosque, can be heard telling the girl it was her duty to obey her husband.

'If (your husband) is happy with something, do it. If (your husband) is not happy with something, don't do it,' he tells the girl.

'She's very young,' he can be heard telling the child's mother and her betrothed.

Police executed a search warrant of Omerdic's office, finding wedding materials, ceremonial garb, wedding readings and certificates.

The Certificate of Islamic Marriage also contained a disclaimer stating the document could not validate a marriage by Australian law. [Daily Mail] Read more

16 May 2017

Bach vs burka: Germany in election-year identity debate

What does it mean to be German? A minister close to Chancellor Angela Merkel has kicked off a divisive election-year debate about cultural identity -- earning him praise, ridicule and charges of immigrant-bashing.

Some say it's high time to define shared values as Germany seeks to integrate more than a million mostly Muslim asylum seekers who arrived since 2015 under Merkel's open-door policy.

Others have slammed the initiative as a grab for right-wing voters who threaten to drift off to the nationalist, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in September elections.

The eye-catching opening salvo was fired by Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere in the top-selling tabloid Bild on Sunday.

The front page showed the politician in charge of police and migrant affairs before the national colours black, red and gold, with the grammatically dubious headline "We Are Not Burka".

In a double-page spread, de Maiziere outlined in 10 points what he considers core elements of the German "Leitkultur", the guiding or dominant national culture. [AFP] Read more

Controversial Copenhagen imam defends antisemitic sermon

In a Facebook interview with newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad, Mundhir rejected the broad criticism levelled at him after it emerged last week that he had cited a hadith that can be interpreted as anti-Semitic during a Friday sermon in March this year.

The hadith – a lesson on the prophet Mohammed’s life or record of his speech that is used as a basis for Islamic tradition – includes the phrase “‘Judgement Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.’ The Jews will hide behind the rocks and the trees, but the rocks and trees will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him’,” according to a translation by American institute Memri.

But Abdallah said that he had been the victim of a set-up.

“Politicians in the West and the media never stop attacking Islam and Muslims. Their propaganda never stops. Muslims are the real victims, not others. Our women our being attacked, our mosques are being burned,” Abdallah wrote.

The imam added that he had received support following the controversy over his sermon.

“Even from many in Denmark. They know that my words have been manipulated and they know that the motivation for this campaign is to prevent Muslims from criticising Israel and Western governments that support the occupation [of Palestine, ed.],” Abdallah wrote to Kristeligt Dagblad over Facebook. [The Local] Read more

New mosque spotlights Swiss fracture lines

A new prototype for mosques in Switzerland – one meant to blend in and to minimise any possible offence – has arisen in a place that was ground zero in a bruising fight over the construction of minarets.

The new mosque that has opened in Wil,external link Switzerland, conforms to the 2009 Swiss voter-approved constitutional ban on the construction of new minarets, reflecting a significant local-led effort to overcome the European backlash against a growing Muslim population.

The weekend-long dedication culminates a years-long effort by Muslim groups in Switzerland to overcome resistance to putting in a new mosque in Wil, the third-biggest city in canton St Gallen.

The resistance is a reflection of Europeans’ fractured views toward migration, Islam, nationalism and European unity. Due to the ban on construction of the iconic mosque towers, Muslims in Wil had to adapt their blueprints. [swissinfo.ch] Read more

15 May 2017

Azad Ali of MEND and Haitham al-Haddad – Democracy and Hellfire

.... At present, however, Mr Haddad is disappointed with some of the Muslim MPs in the last Parliament. You see, “some of them, they are anti-Muslim, as we all know.”

He expands on this theme in another video from 2013. Muslim MPs voted for same sex marriage? Really? Yes, a majority of them of them did just that, wa alhamdulillah, as they say.

Though Mr Haddad would not say that. Oh no. It’s all takfiri hellfire for the yes voters, really. To summarise Mr Haddad’s words on what he terms these “so-called Muslim MPs”:

- They should be brought before an “Islamic body” charged with deciding whether they are Muslims or not.

- If they do not repent for “leaving Islam”, they are bound for the hellfire.

- In this life, those who do not repent must be shunned even by their own families.

- When the hellfire time comes, they should be denied Muslim funeral prayers and burials.

- No, there is no forgiveness for them. Do not pray for this. It is forbidden. [Harry’s Place] Read more

Marriage laws are failing vulnerable Muslim women

Divorce can be a costly and messy business, unless you are a Muslim man married under Islamic law. In that case, you can simply utter the word talaq (divorce) three times and the marriage is over.

This practice was last week challenged in India's supreme court, where Muslim women are demanding its abolition. But it is not just India that is failing to safeguard basic rights — lawmakers here in Britain are letting down vulnerable Muslim women.

The problem is that some Islamic marriages are not legally binding in the UK, usually because the marriage has not been registered through a civil ceremony. In effect, this means the married couple are treated under the law as cohabitees. [The Times (£)] Read more

A law unto themselves: Why Triple Talaq should be abolished

But India remains the only country in the world where the triple talaq remains law. Which means that an Indian Muslim man, by the power invested in Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, can, like the Beatles chorus line of ‘Back in the US/ Back in the US/ Back in the USSR’, divorce his wife by simply uttering ‘talaq, talaq, talaq’.

For a country that defines its secularism not along the thick line of separation between religion and state but by the all-embracing Article 14 of the Constitution — ‘The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law and equal protection of laws within the territory of India’ — circa 2017 India sure knows how to treat all laws as equal, but some laws more equal than others.

The Supreme Court, currently hearing arguments for petitions challenging the validity of the triple talaq, could soon well be discussing arguments pertaining to how many angels can be allowed to dance on a pinhead. [Economic Times] Read more

14 May 2017

Canadian Imam defends Danish Imam who called for “uprooting the Jewish entity”

At a Friday sermon delivered on March 31, 2017 at the Al-Faruq Mosque in Copenhagen, Denmark, preacher Mundhir Abdallah cited a hadith according to which the Muslims will kill the Jews on Judgment Day, and said that there would soon be a Caliphate, which would “wage Jihad against its enemies,” “liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the Zionists,” and “uproot the Jewish entity, that colonialist and Crusader base.”

.... Mazin AbdulAdhim, a prominent Imam of Iraqi descent in London, Ontario who is affiliated with the global Islamic movement of Hizb ut-Tahrir, came to the defence of the Danish Imam after he faced criticism from the Jewish community and the authorities over his controversial sermon. [CIJnews] Read more

Ex-Muslims slam Facebook for 'censoring pages that disrespect Islam' as pages are shut down

An anonymous group of ex-Muslims has slammed Facebook for its censorship of anti-Islamic content as several pages are shut down and banned for allegedly violating community rules.

The group - which is made up of former Muslim-Australians - claims Facebook pulled the plug on pages with thousands of followers after users flagged them as 'disrespecting' the Islam religion, reports The Australian.

'Restrictions to these platforms would be overwhelmingly damaging for ex-Muslims who are too afraid to go public with their views due to the taboo of leaving and criticising a religion,' a spokeswoman for the group said.

Pioneers of the ex-Muslim groups have condemned the social media giant for censoring content and filtering the type of information available to users.

The pages exist for ex-Muslims to denounce their former religion and band together with other previous adherents of Islam.

Anti-Islamic pages ripped from cyberspace include the Ex-Muslims of North America page - which soon resurfaced - and a page called Mufti News which parodied Muslim news. [Daily Mail] Read more